Module Identifier MM32710  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Jack Eaton  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite EC30230 or (EC31310 and EC31410)  
Co-Requisite MM32610  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours including a revision seminar  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours  66%
Semester Assessment Essay-type coursework  34%
Supplementary Exam1.5 Hours  66%
Supplementary Assessment 1 piece of Coursework  34%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Build on the group ideas begun in the Motivation & Control module. That is to say, extend the concept of bureaucracy to M-form organisational structure.
To be able to understand and explain the re-emergence and centrality of organisational structure in relation to strategy issues (e.g. alliances and outsourcing);
Different perspectives on strategy and consider its rationality, including possible strategy absence;
Organisational decision-making and communications;
The influence of technology on organisational structure;
The bases of power in and around the organisation and its importance in relation to leadership and strategic choice:
Examine own learning processes analytically in order to apply relevant techniques intended to increase ability to acquire, retain and apply information, skills and competencies related to organisational effectiveness.


Studies of the relationship between business strategy and structure, such as Chandler'r (1962) classic, pervade the organisation theory and business literature. The module will provide business students with the chance to familiarise themselves with writing often taken as read in the business journals.

The structure/strategy debate enables questioning of assumptions about formal rationality and strategy as planning. Discussion then moves onto Mintzberg'r idea of emergent strategy and, more radically, Weick'r enactment view of sensemaking in strategy.

Interdisciplinary comparisons, such as Williamson'r notion of organisation as a response to market failure and Chandler'r view of organisations as a response to market pressure can be made.

The idea of technological determinism of organisational structure, particularly in the context of information technology, can be explored.

The debate between contingency theories of organisation and the idea of a universal, one best way, global best practice or lean production method will be addressed.

Brief description

The module sets out to analyse organisational decision making in a framework of macroeconomic and technological change.


An overview of Organisational Structure
The Link between Structure and Strategy
Theories of Decision Making and Organisational Rationality
Irrationality? in Decision Making
Strategy? Planned, Emergent or Absent?
Organisational Structure and Contingency Theory
The Aston Studies and Organisational Size
Organisation and Technology: classic studies
Technology as Deterministic?
New Technology
Institutional Perspectives
Power - Around Organisations
Power? In Organisations (Politics)
Why Firms?
The Idea of Networks as an Analytical Device

Reading Lists

H Drummond Organizational Behaviour Oxford University Press
Stephen Ackroyd The Organisation of Business. Oxford University Press
S Clegg, C Hardy and W Nord (eds) Handbook of Organisational Studies Sage
M Huczynski and D Buchanan Organizational Behaviour Prentice Hall


This module is at CQFW Level 6